By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 10/6
It takes two to tango down South
Placeholder Image
    Muriel Fox said, "Women and men have to fight together to change society — and both will benefit.... Partnership, not dependence, is the real romance in marriage."
    That is also true at the bridge table, even for unmarried partners. They must fight together to reach the right contract or to defeat an opponent. This deal requires good cooperation by West and East. How can they defeat four spades after West leads the heart ace?
    North's three-heart cue-bid showed three or more spades and game-invitational values or stronger. South, deciding that a slam was unlikely, jumped to game without revealing his side suit.
    Under West's heart ace, East drops his eight, starting high-low (an echo) with a doubleton. West continues with his heart king, everyone following. What should West do next and why?
    West should count the high-card points in the dummy — 14 — and use that information to place the other high cards. Since West has 12 points, that leaves only 14 missing and South opened the bidding. South surely has the diamond ace. This means that the defenders have taken all of their side-suit tricks and need two trump tricks. At trick three, West must lead a low heart (not the queen, on which East would discard).
    Now the spotlight falls on East. Suppose he ruffs low. South, if he has a third heart, will follow suit. Will East's remaining spade queen serve any purpose? No. So East should ruff with the spade queen.
    You can see the effect. South overruffs with the ace, but now West collects two spade tricks to defeat the contract. It is a classic uppercut.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter